The Founder of Merlin Works, Shana Merlin is one of the most experienced and effective improv teachers in Central Texas. The former Dean of The Heroes School of Improvisational Theatre, Shana has been an internationally touring performer and award winning teacher since 1995. Shana has trained with some of the top teachers in the field of improvisation including Keith Johnstone, and members of Second City, The Annoyance, IO, The Groundlings and more.
Aden has been on stage since she was 8 years old and teaching improv since she was a teenager. Her comedy credits include Esther’s Follies, Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals Spitting Nonsense, The Starter Kit, Start Trekkin’, Apocalypse!, The Andersons, Battle Axe and cable-access sensation: The Late Night Lunch Show. Aden teaches singing and regular old improv at Merlin Works.
Michael attended the University of Texas at Austin and received his Bachelors degree in Theatre and Dance. He is a founding member of the nationally touring Available Cupholders, performs regularly with the Knuckleball Now, and most recently has joined Gnap! Theatre Projects. Michael has coached several troupes, directed improv shows, and has taught improv to adults as well as children.
Shannon is a 15 year veteran of stage and screen, as well as a writer and director and an award-winning master of ceremonies. He is also the artistic director of Gnap! Theater Projects, where he has been a part of Get Up, False Matters: Stories Improvised in the Style of Philip K. Dick and former director of the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. Shannon has also appeared in numerous scripted projects such as The Intergalactic Nemesis, Foleyvision, Catch 24, feature films, and voiceover projects.
With more than 20 years of performing and teaching experience, Ted Rutherford is a theatrical heavyweight. In the past, Ted has taught improvisation with the We Could Be Heroes School of Improvisation and has trained various corporate clients. For the last 7 years, Ted has performed with the Heroes of Comedy, Foolish Mortals, Vertigo Ramp and currently with Junk. Ted has a B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Mississippi and a M.Ed. from the University of Montevallo.
Lauren is a founding member of the Hideout’s original house improv troupe, We Could Be Heroes, in 1998. She has performed improv and sketch comedy in New York at the People’s Improv Theater, Juvie Hall, Rose’s Turn, Chashama and the Sage Theater in Times Square. In Austin she has appeared in Totally Improvised, 90120, Dusk: Improvised Tween Erotica, Start Trekkin’, and Twilight Zoned. Lauren is also a certified yoga instructor.
Kevin Miller has been involved in the Austin improv community since 2001, After graduating from The University of Texas. He has performed in numerous improv productions for the Hideout Theatre, Gnap! Theater Projects, and The Institution Theater as well as festivals across the country. With interesting including leading professional ghost tours, Legos, and all things Apple, Kevin has has been a Merlin Works instructor since 2012.